Around this time of the year, someone usually asks me how our family celebrates Easter, so I thought it would be fun to share our Easter traditions.
As you know by the title of my blog, I like to keep things SimplyLiving, and I believe having family traditions is a great way to do just that. If you think about it, the more you use traditions in planning your celebration, the less you have to put together from scratch – you simply need a list that you can keep from year to year and you’re good to go. Also, your family knows what to expect so you’re all on the same page with no fuss and great memories are made.
So here’s the list I start with for Easter Sunday:
ITEMS I PURCHASE FOR OUR EASTER SUNDAY CELEBRATION
1 large white poster board (thin so it can be easily cut – with a picture drawn on it to represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I usually draw this poster size picture, but sometimes one of my kids will ask to do it (Matthew drew this one last year). We always include three crosses, and the tomb with the stone rolled away – and always a sun shining in the top corner 🙂 Also, don’t forget to incorporate the words “Easter 2016” in your picture! Once it is drawn with a pencil, pick out a verse that will fit nicely with your picture. You can choose from the verses listed below. Trace it with a black permanent marker and cut it in puzzle shapes, one for each member of your family.)
1 black permanent marker
4 tacks to pin your poster to the wall – we leave ours up all year long until the next Easter.
lots of crayons in lots of colors
6 to 8 different kinds of candy (Peanut M&Ms, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Jelly Bellies, Skittles, Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Whoppers, Junior Mints)
6-8 small bowls
1 large bowl
The following items could be small images printed on little square pieces of paper – printed from the internet…
1 toy donkey or horse
1 small wine glass
1 small strip of leather
1 hand drawn image of praying hands, cut out and colored
1 small thorny stem from outside fashioned into a small crown
1 hand drawn spear, cut out and colored
1 small piece of cloth
1 small empty box without lid or image of an empty tomb
1 Easter movie – or documentary. This year we are watching “The Easter Experience”
Any preparations you need for your meal – we make it easy and have a Taco Feed Feast!!
Homemade pie of your choice, or just buy a wonderful Berry Pie by Marie Callenders at pretty much any grocery store in the frozen section 🙂 Super Easy!!!! Super Yummy!!!!
Vanilla Ice Cream
Drink of choice (our kids love having cran-raspberry juice with our Easter Taco Feast)
EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE
How the day will probably go based on our past history of doing this since 1996 is as follows:
I will go to first service at church and get home earlier than everyone else, who will go to both services for various reasons, and I’ll get dinner started. However, because tacos are so easy you can prepare the meat and veggies the night before and get home with everyone else and still have dinner ready to go in a very reasonable amount of time.
Tacos are super easy to make – I just cook up the meat (chicken or beef or both) and season with a little taco seasoning and heat up some canned re-fried beans. Then I slice the tomatoes, the onions, the lettuce, the pickles, and the black olives; I mush up the avocados for guacamole (I do not add anything for seasoning to my guacamole); I stir up the sour cream; dish up the Mexican style shredded cheese; set out the hot sauce, and soft shells and hard shells, and set the dinner table in Easter colors; i.e. a white table cloth with an Easter colored runner down the middle and pretty napkins and Great Grannie’s beautiful china; put the nacho chips in a bowl along with the salsa and ring the cow bell!!!
Dad usually prays and then reads from the Scriptures sometime during our meal – This year he is going to read 1 Corinthians 15.
After dinner we all clean up our own place – super easy and everyone heads to the living room for our DVD. While Dad is getting everyone settled down and the DVD ready, I prepare the table with a large dish of crayons in the middle and 6-8 small bowls of the selected candies around it, and a puzzle piece of our poster at each place. In addition to the puzzle pieces, there is at least one or more of the pieces mentioned above (rock, nails, coins, etc.) at each place – make sure all the pieces are handed out. After the DVD, we will all head into the dining room to tell our portion of the Easter Story.
Our pieces are from an old Easter Egg game called Resurrection Eggs. We only use the individual pieces, but you can purchase the whole game through Family Life.
Dad with Bible in hand, has a list of the following so he can direct the story in it’s proper sequence and read the verses to accompany each person’s part of the Easter Story. Be sure to keep them in the following order:
Donkey – Matthew 21:1-9
3 Silver Coins – Matthew 26:14-16, 46-50; 27:1-5
Wine Glass – Matthew 26:17-19, 26-28; Exodus 12:23
Praying Hands – Mark 14:32-42
Leather Strip – John 19:1-15; Matthew 27:26-31
Crown of Thorns – Matthew 27:29-31
Nails – John 19:16-22
Dice – John 19:23-25
Spear – John 19:31-37
Cloth – Matthew 27:57-61
Rock – Matthew 28:1-3
Empty Box for Tomb- Matthew 28:5-8
And now the fun begins – While Dad is calling for the person with the pieces above, the person with that particular piece has to tell their portion of the Easter Story, from memory or the best they can remember, while we are all coloring our piece of the poster puzzle and eating the candies in the dishes. You will probably need to also serve glasses of ice water. 🙂 We have only a couple of rules: 1) Don’t get sick on candy! 2) Color all of your piece of the puzzle as neatly as you can and in a timely manner, using lots of bright and pretty colors. We want to honor Jesus our Lord in this beautiful poster. 🙂
After we are done telling the Easter Story and coloring our puzzle pieces, we sign them on the front and everyone gives them to me to flip over and tape back together – then with all eyes closed I tack our new Easter Poster to the dining room wall in place of last years poster. Everyone opens their eyes in great anticipation of what it might look like! Great fun!!!!
And there it hangs in our dining room until the next Easter. People ask about it all the time – Each poster is a wonderful witness to our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead!
This Easter Poster is a tradition you and your kids will want to store in a safe place to pull out and look at periodically. We have all of ours and we love them – it’s been twenty years of making these Easter Posters with wonderful memories of gathering together to tell the Easter Story of how God raised His Son from the grave to give all who believe in Him eternal life! Amazing Grace 🙂
Later in the evening we have our hot pie and ice cream, but sometimes we decide not to have it after all that candy – we just play it by ear 🙂
Well, there you have it! Thank you for allowing me time to share such precious memories and traditions with you. I would love to hear yours as well! Please consider leaving a comment and share how you celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
Happy Resurrection Day to you!
You might also like to read Spring Time Fun! (How our 2016 Easter turned out)